Seahawks Insider

Curry fall-out

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on Oct. 13, 2011 at 6:25 am with 51 Comments »
October 13, 2011 6:25 am

Okay, so, it would be easy to say that Seahawks blog posters no longer have Aaron Curry to kick around. But are you really ready to be done yet? Didn’t think so. Some in the media have tried to measure him against the great sports busts in Seattle history. (I’ve included one of those links). To me, that seems about as enjoyable as going back and rating your colonoscopies.

Perhaps more productive would be to try to answer the question of why this happened. What was it nobody could see in Curry? His teammates who talked yesterday were respectful and offered well-wishes. I thought Red Bryant had some good insight when he wondered, simply, if Aaron was really prepared for what he was in for. We can expand that basic question. Did he come out of Wake Forest ready to pass rush against the NFL’s best left tackles? Was he really schooled in coverages and schemes? And was he in any way aware of how much people would expect of him?

His raw and rare athleticism allowed him to compensate for so many of those issues in college, but that degree of advantage was not there in the NFL. As they continued to try to find roles for him, he seemed increasingly less comfortable, and less at ease to just play the game and exploit his physical talents. I believe his confidence was damaged early, and from that point, he was never the same. Stats seem to support that.

As I thought back, I felt as if the most productive stretch of his career was probably his first few games, when he was still confident of his abilities. A look at the stats bears that out. In his first five games, he had 32 tackles with two sacks and two forced fumbles. He finished his career as a Seahawks with only 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. In that stretch, his game against Jacksonville was a stunner: 10 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. That was the kind of performance Curry, fans, staff and media came to expect. When it didn’t happen, Curry had some realities to face, and he was never really the same.

Here’s a link to my news story from the TNT this morning including Seahawk player reactions.

Bill Williamson, AFC West blogger, looks at realistic expectations for Curry in Oakland.’s Mike Sando offers five thoughts on Curry. weighs in with a list of the area’s all-time sports busts.

The Seattle Times’ Jerry Brewer looks back at the draft in which Curry was considered “a safe pick.”

In non-Curry news, writer Clare Farnsworth offered a daily wrap-up that includes some interesting Doug Baldwin stats.

In other Hawk developments, the league fined Giants safety Kenny Phillips $20,000 for his hit on Hawk tight end Zach Miller. Miller sustained a neck injury in the hit that drew a flag for hitting a receiver in a defenseless position.

Leave a comment Comments → 51
  1. bird_spit says:

    Curry was a star in his first Rams game. He was the defensive star in that game. What happened to that aggressive play?

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “This last game, I screwed up a whole bunch of plays that people don’t actually really see because they don’t know the plays. It wasn’t one of my best games. It just gives me more motivation to go out there and be better next game.” – Baldwin on his eight-catch, 136-yard performance against the Giants that included catching what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter

    Are you kidding me!

    I would rather talk about what’s right with Baldwin instead of what’s wrong with Curry.

  3. confucious says:

    With the “monkey” being essentially lifted off his back (you did jump off ACIB, didn’t you?) I expect pro bowl performances from Mr. Curry for years to come.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    “I would rather talk about what’s right with Baldwin instead of what’s wrong with Curry.”

    Amen! I had a whole post about Curry ready but truth be told, I simply couldn’t care less. That said, I’ll leave it at this; his lack of instincts as a significant reason for his struggles is grossly overblown. Every complaint about instincts ought to be replaced with fundamentals. That’s on Curry.

    In addition, Ruskell set him up for failure, to a degree. He was a 2 down, behind the line player at Wake. They projected him to rush from the edge and become a 3 down Matthews type, and they were wrong. Horrific scouting doomed him from the start. That’s on Ruskell.

  5. I’ll throw a few possible reasons out there. Some are dangerous territory but if we want to discover the truth about why he was a bust we have to look at all possible causes:

    1) Intelligence – this is difficult to evaluate and the college scheme can mask this. Todd Mcshay said he was one of the most instinctive players. In the NFL he looked like he had no football instincts. Was intelligence a factor or maybe just not working hard on the “mental” side of the game such as watching game film, preparedness etc.?

    2) Desire – to me this was maybe his #1 problem. In his comments on twitter etc. I saw a lot of his coments that made me think he felt “entitled”. Like he was this uber-pro out of college and they weren’t using him right. Even in his very early posts while Mora was here he started blaing “them”. He had lots of cash and didn’t seem motivated. Contrast that with guys like Baldwin, Milloy, etc. that $ will make absoultely no difference in their desire.

    If you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs security is a critical basic need. Curry got that financial security but never seemed motivated by the higher needs such as belinging to the team (“they”) or esteem. If you look at grant Wistrom for example, the guy was grossly overpaid, so his security needs were met. But he wanted to justify that contract and show the world he was worth those dollars. He was motivated by esteem (4th level of hierarchy of needs) and the money didn’t dirve him those first 2 years as a hawk.

    I saw zero evidence that Curry was motivated by the third level (belonging) being part of the team, doing his part for his teamates, etc. or respect (4th level esteem). Instead he was at peace, no matter what was going on. Desireless, complacent. Complacent players stick out like a sore thumb in Carrolls system. They are exposed and pretty soon cut. I think the biggest change in this team since the carroll regime started is that complacency is obvious and not tolerated. Likewise hungry guys like Baldwin, chancellor, etc. are rewarded. I wrote too much here so won’t go into any more possibilities.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    MikePDX – Really interesting post.

  7. ZombieLatics says:

    Tsk, tsk, tsk…if only he were a nice guy all would be forgiven and these comment sections would be filled ith well-wishers, heavy sobbers, and people calling to bring down the Prickly Pete Regime. If only he were daughter-dateable he could have sat around being useless for years on end.

  8. SandpointHawk says:

    From SPNorthwest on Seattle’s biggest busts…a story I didn’t remember…

    3. Andre Hines, Seahawks, 1980. Seahawks bosses planned to use their second-round pick on Brian Holloway, an All-America tackle from Stanford. Instead, in an epic case of mistaken identity by bullheaded head coach Jack Patera, who refused to admit he was wrong, Holloway’s pudgy backup was picked. Once drafted, Hines freely admitted he rarely played at Stanford. He rarely played for the Seahawks – nine games, starting none. In one memorable Seahawks embarrassment, a 51-7 blowout loss at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, 1980, Patera inserted Hines late, whereupon Cowboys’ defensive end Harvey Martin immediately drew Hines off-sides by yelling, “Boo!”

  9. Speaking of intelligence (in a positive way), I love this quote from Red Bryant about Curry: “I can’t speak to how he feels, but just being one of his teammates, I don’t feel like he was probably as ready as he could have been. He’s the fourth pick, gets $34 million guaranteed, you’re the first linebacker taken in a class of Clay Matthews, Brian Orakpo, Brian Cushing. I think he went before [Mark] Sanchez and [Josh] Freeman. To who much is given, much is expected. I just [wish] him well.”

  10. to me what really sucks is the team paid over $20mil guaranteed to this chump….basically they paid many millions to acquire two late round picks….complete waste of money….but I guess what is one man’s garbage is another mans treasure….enjoy Oakland…and I wish the Raiders nothing but failure (Curry included) …not because of Curry but because Oakland Raiders fans are the worst on the planet….to me they rank right up there with Philly & Boston….violent, good for nothing, drunken thugs…I wish the Raiders many more years of losing and failure….(Sorry Eric W, you are probably one of a few respectable Raiders fans).

  11. SeahawkFan12 says:

    MikePDX, thanks for elevating the overall intelligence of this blog with your post. It’s refreshing to once-in-a-while read a well-thought out post instead of the constant Curry-bashing and ranting. Great post, and lots of great insights.

    You nailed an issue (effort and desire) that I believe the NFL/NFLPA got right when they restructured the rookie pay scale. That is not to say that all athletes coming out of college cannot handle huge money overnight, but the points you made regarding Curry are spot on.

    I also agree with others that a lot of this debacle fall on Ruskell and the horrendous scouting that was done back then. I’m really enjoying Scheider’s approach to talent scouting and personnel moves. Other than the Hasselbeck loss (which is purely emotional on my part and better for Matt so I’m okay with it), I’m delighted with what Scheider and Carroll have done with the roster moves.

    Great post MikePDX. Keep ‘em coming!

  12. seahawk44 says:

    Is there an injury update on Zach Miller?

  13. Ewalters7354 says:

    DFloydd,That was all Tim Ruskell…people are gonna say all type of things about how AC wasn’t used right and all but will fail to remember that the coaching staff tried everything and he still couldn’t succeed.I wish him the best but I have a hard time believing he’s just gonna be a star in Oakland.I would see on his twitter after loses how he would care nothing about the lost.He would be having bible study immediately after they got on the plane.Seeing that made me hate him being on this team.Go riddance bum!

  14. JazBadAzz says:

    Curry was a good man off the field and battled through a lot to get to where he was. He beat the statistics of young black youth coming from broken homes. Taking care of his family and staying out of the streets is what a lot of these younger people around the country should take note of.
    With all that said, his football skills and ability never really clicked. He seemed to play as if he was scared to make a mistake and that’s what he did exactly. He did lots of good things out there but like Big Red said, it was to much to expect out of him. He is not a bust just got drafted to high and his fellow linebackers are having outstanding careers thus far. When the game slows down for him and the motor sync’s, he will be a good player for a long time.
    If he had a leader and future H.O.F like Ray Lewis to mentor him, the sky would be the limit.
    Cheers everyone!

  15. MikePDX and Canfan, thanks for the intelligent and thoughtful comments…much appreciated; keep it up.

  16. Was the 2009 draft class top 10, the worst top 10 draft class ever?

    And we all knew it was going to be bad coming in.

  17. I think the really hard part in this is trying to not “accuse” Curry for being human. What I mean is he is responding to the same pyschological needs we all have. but we want these guys to be our heroes and all be like Milloy and those guys, all heart and never ending desire to win.

    I think this is at the heart of my own mixed feelings about Shawn Alexander. Who didn’t love the pre-big contract Alexander who was a touchdown machine? Myself, as much as I respect what he did then, I didn’t like the “let’s save my body” post-big contract Alexander. I saw a difference in willingness. Was it a change in willingness and attitude due to the big contract? Was it the loss teamate “all-heart and desire” Ricky Watters to push him? Is it due to his body breaking down?

    I remember Shawn walking off the field with a huge smile after a poor effort and team loss. This is eerily similar to Curry being “at peace”. These guys have their secuity needs met and I think it’s fairly rare to find the “competitor” -sorry to use the carroll-word- who is really hungry even after those security needs are met.

    I do think carroll and schneider areo n a mission to populate the team with hungry guys. Young guys who don’t yet have the big contract and are hungry. And vets who play their heart out no matter what are hungry. I just don’t think we can expect everyone to be in that “hero” class.

    Not trying to disrespect Alexander in this post. The guy was better than Warner and the greatest RB we ever had. Just trying to figure out why some guys seem to change in their attitude. I think it’s because they are human and as much as we want to identify ourselves as the hero-always-hungry guy, I think most of us would also fall into some sort of complacency too. It’s human nature and pretty uncomfortable to talk about. But it makes guys like Baldwin, Milloy, Leon washington, etc. etc. seem just that much more heroic.

    I hope Caroll and Schneider find more of these guys. It’s amazing to me to contrast our current reciever’s attitudes (especially BMW, baldwin) to guys like TJ and Branch. BMW is so darn honest about his game, effort etc. baldwin is the same BMW may be our best indicator of what makes a “bust” because he was a bust and conquered it. Now he is hungry. Deon branch kept talking about how he had been to more super bowls than the coaches (entitlement?). More BMWs and Baldwins please!

  18. Dukeshire says:

    AaronCurryIsBUST – Just an FYI: you are no longer simply toeing the line of irrational, you’ve steam-rolled right through it at terminal velocity. I don’t care if you stop or not, but you’re posts have become something of a parody of themselves.

    MikePDX – My father had an expression; it’s hard to run with your pockets full of money. For many players, “the” contract is the destination. It’s the goal, as you well know. I would categorize the dichotomy in the players you mentioned in this way. That says as much about one’s character as does how they conduct themselves off the field. This was always a puzzling aspect to Ruskell’s character mantra to me. His standards were fluid depending on the player. Carroll / Schneider appear to be unwavering in the aspect of character they demand above all else: effort.

  19. “Curry got that financial security but never seemed motivated by the higher needs such as belinging to the team (“they”) or esteem.”

    I don’t know – I recognize that you’re interpreting from the limited data we have – but we’re really reading in a lot based on a few words in some tweets. I never noticed Curry half-assing it out there. And I think the positive quotes from his teammates also speak to his attitude. There were certainly no ‘good riddance’ type quotes.

    Bottom line is that he didn’t play up to his draft position. I mean, if he were the same player, but a 4th round pick in 2009, don’t you think he’d still be on the squad, even if it was as a back-up?

  20. bird_spit says:

    MikePDX – thanks for bringing your comments on here today. Now when we fill the air with our praise, try to still be human and deflate your ego and bring more of the same in the future. ;)

  21. The first one was the worst. I wasn’t used to not eating and having to drink that horrible chalky stuff the night before. I woke up and couldn’t tell that I had one, which was even more terrifying. How many times had this happened before and I had no idea?

    The second one was similar to the first. I was nervous and couldn’t shake the terror of a worst case scenario from my mind. I knew I was being closed minded about it, but fear wouldn’t let me do much about it.

    The last one was easily my favorite. I’d developed an insatiable appetite for Lady GaGa since my last visit.. I took a couple shots, wore some beads and a feather boa, put on some dance music and refused anesthetic. WOOO!

  22. pdway says:

    “I mean, if he were the same player, but a 4th round pick in 2009, don’t you think he’d still be on the squad, even if it was as a back-up?”

    Yea it’s a really interesting point. As a 4th rounder, would he be that hungry guy fighting to make a name for himself or hoping to get the big contract in the future.? Could the same guy, if drafted at a different spot, be a different player because of his motivation/attitude?

    I remember his first 3 (5?) games or so as a rookie, the guy was on fire. What happened after that? If you were to look only at the drop off from those early “tell him to settle down” games, to everything after, what made the drop off happen?

  23. bird_spit says:

    I agree. The peak of Curry’s NFL experience had to be his 3rd game, The Rams/Jackson thumping.. After that, Mora had to talk him into being less aggressive. So my humble opinion, Curry was the thumper, and should have been coached to stay the thumper. We could have been discussing the independent funds that are needed to pay Curry ‘s fines. Instead, Curry’s psychological state is being discussed as he is shown the door.
    OAK would be best served if they could tap into his aggressive rookie year, and do a reboot.

  24. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    ACIB let dead dogs lie. if all you can do is piss and moan about Curry you either need to get a life or ask curry to marry you because he is all you think about. he is gone bitch about someone else for a change or better yet become a raiders fan.
    PDX great stuff keep it up and thanks for posting

  25. Dave Boling says:

    Good one, Carson!

    As for injury updates … we’re expecting nothing out of the Seahawks until Monday. They are off and out of here. SInce it was their bye week, they did not have to file any injury reports to the league this week, either.

  26. PixelDummy says:

    I know we all already know this, but it is just horrifying to see laid out-

    Seahawk 1st round picks under Tim Ruskell regime:

    2005 – Chris Spencer
    2006 – Kelly Jennings
    2007 – (traded for Deion Branch)
    2008 – Lawrence Jackson
    2009 – Aaron Curry


  27. Dukeshire says:

    I was at that Ram game and was blow away by how fast he played. Yes he missed tackles. Yes he overpursued. But he was violent and disruptive. He also recieved the first of was I believe were 5 personal fouls that season. Among other things, he never found the ballance between aggression and stupidity, as it were, to the point where he began playing tentively. That’s just another thing to throw in the mix…

  28. Gil Brandt from proposes Doug Baldwin and draft picks to the Bengals for Carson Palmer

  29. A blind-folded monkey could have chosen better players by tossing banana peels at a list of names.

    Ruskell outsmarted himself with all that character crap. Perhaps, Tim is a very naughty boy himself, so it can’t be tolerated in the players he drafts! Didn’t Sigmund Freud have some sort of pyramid for that?

  30. seahawk44 says:

    It is week 6. The team will need to decide what to do with the PUP players: Cameron Morrah, Deon Butler, and Roy Lewis.
    Lewis and Morrah cone back at a good time with Injuries to Trufant and the TE’s. And Butler was really showing some skills before his horrendous injury last year.
    What do we expect? Who loses a roster spot?

  31. freedom_X says:

    Listening to Jim Mora today on KJR talk about Curry, he says that the fines Curry got early in his rookie season seemed to turn down his motor. After Curry picked up 2 $15K fines in 5 weeks, Mora thought he became more tentative.

    To be clear, this isn’t excusing or explaining Curry’s flop (a quality player will figure out how to deal with it) but it wasn’t (according to Mora) a directive from him to tone it down. And it is a good explanation for why the switch seems to have been flipped off after game 5 of Curry’s rookie season.

    Of course, the big problem is that Curry couldn’t figure out how to flip the switch back on. Mora says he kept prodding Curry to be more aggressive, even saying Curry could afford the fines (not sure if that was tongue-in-cheek though), but it just didn’t happen.

    Mora also hinted at personal life issues. If so, this, on top of Curry’s own deficiencies and immaturity, would have been part of the story describing his downward plunge from sure thing to bust.

  32. JazBadAzz says:

    I am also curious to see what happens when those pup guys return…I’m sure we can use Morrah at te, but butler could put the coaches between a rock and hard spot, we can’t afford to lose the guys we got…

    Roy Lewis is needed for sp teams because I sick of seeing Earl on kick offs and punts because of the injury risk. He is arguably our best def player and sure fire probowler.

  33. ACIB Enough already!!! I advise the rest to not reply to your constant bable. Curry is gone, and I for one wish him all the best with his new team Now lets discuss Seahawk football.

  34. “2005 – Chris Spencer
    2006 – Kelly Jennings
    2007 – (traded for Deion Branch)
    2008 – Lawrence Jackson
    2009 – Aaron Curry


    Wow is right – all five 1st rounders in the Ruskell era off the team. I bet there’s not another team in the league that can match that.

  35. I think Butler is going to be on the trading block this week.

  36. Here’s the 2nd rounders from 2005 – 2009

    2005 Lofa Tatupu
    2006 Daryl Tapp
    2007 Josh Wilson
    2008 John Carlson
    2009 Max Unger

    We did better in the 2nd round than the 1st, and only two of those players are still on the team.

  37. Curry’s only problem is that he’s a mental midget. Period.

  38. chuck_easton says:

    With the Curry trade now a done deal the team is sitting at 52 on the Active Roster.

    One PUP player could easily be activated without costing anyone currently on the team their job.

    My guess is Morrah, if indeed healthy, would be the logical choice as we are down to one walking TE.

  39. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    morrah takes curry’s spot,lewis gets that second fulbacks spot and butler gets tate’s spot tate goes to a team that needs a reciever for a draft pic.

  40. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    audible i think butler is better than tate

  41. Butler and Baldwin are redundant, and Baldwin is better.

    Carroll and Company drafted Tate and not Butler.

    Tate and Butler are the same height but Tate has a much studier build.

    Therefore…they trade away Butler and give Tate one more year to develop.

  42. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Comparing the 1st rounders to the 2nd rounders in the Ruskell era makes me think of why the Patriots like to trade out of the 1st and stock pile up on 2nd round picks.

    This is just one reason why it’s not a good idea to compete but not win to gain better draft position.
    Even the 1st round pick that the Patriots got from the Seahawks in the Branch trade,( Brandon Meriweather), is no longer with the Patriots.

  43. SandpointHawk says:

    @Carson….nice; I’ve been waiting all day for that one, what a straight line by Dave, great punchline you delivered….

  44. GeorgiaHawk says:

    From SI fantasy injury update.

    Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks
    Sometimes precise terms actually confuse things. Jackson has a pectoral strain. When most people think pectoral, they think chest. This is accurate, but the pectoral muscle also attaches up near the shoulder. Put your hand in between your shoulder and chest, then do a throwing motion. That action is why Jackson’s going to have a tough time coming back, even with the bye. It’s a slow healing area, and with Jackson’s moderate (Grade II) strain, there’s a worry that any exacerbation will lead to a need for surgical intervention. Muscles are very difficult to fix and any work tends to happen at the tendon. Think about cutting a rare steak and then trying to sew it back together. Jackson’s return is going to matter entirely on the location and severity of the strain. Without that information, we’re speculating. For their part, the Seahawks are holding it close to their chest.

  45. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    reguardless of who drafted him if they think butler is better do you think they keep tate out of pride? if anything thing this front office has shown there is no promise of a spot on this team. if you are going to run a set with 2 slot receivers do you want tate or butler?
    ofcource this is all moot if they decide he isnt ready and send him to IR.
    besides what value would butler have in a trade? i am not even sure you get anything out of tate, he hasnt shown much.

  46. JazBadAzz says:

    Tate is better in a physical standpoint, he can block better and go over the middle.

    Butler is more of a finesse player and gets blown up a lot when he has to reach for poorly thrown balls.

    Obviously if its betweent the two, its gonna be Tate

  47. JazBadAzz says:

    That we keep…..sorry

  48. To me, value wise for Tate versus Butler…it’s six of one, half dozen of another….

    Maybe dangle both players and take the most lucrative offer. Another GM or coach may have wanted to draft Tate before us, so he might be willing to step up an offer. Perhaps Ruskell will make a case for Butler in Chicago. But, something has to give…

    Remember the decimated WR corp a few years ago? This is what’s called a high quality problem.

  49. PugetHawk says:

    I find it funny that in the one year that we have a top five pick this century, the draft class is a total bust. Lets not forget that everyone, not just Ruskell, said Curry was safe. Since he was a need it made sense.
    Ruskell was terrible but does anyone think another GM would have drafted someone else that would have panned out since the first 11 of 12(Stafford) have been bust-worthy?

  50. nighthawk2 says:

    What I remember about Curry is that he always played out of control. He was a penalty magnet, always out of position, couldn’t cover a bed, didn’t pass rush well and didn’t tackle well. Other than that, he was pretty good. Numbskull wanted to make a splash because his other 1st round picks, and the guy he traded a 1st round pick for, all sucked major ass; Spencer is a turnstile, Jennings is a midget (excuse, a little person), Branch was an injury and Jackson would have been more use as a tackling dummy. Timmay! thought he was getting another Lawrence Taylor, but this guy couldn’t carry Taylor’s coke spoon. I remember draft sites saying Curry wouldn’t fit in a 3-4 (which may be why KC passed on him) and that he wasn’t a sure fit in a 3-4. What’s left? We always here how it’s dangerous to “reach” for a need pick, but Timmay! sure reached for a non-need pick. If he thought Curry was a BPA, it was at best a non-need pick that he, again, didn’t do his homework on. We could have traded down and gotten Eugene Monroe, or Alex Mack, or Michael Oher, or Josh Freeman or Clay Matthews. We’d have a better line with either of those tackles no matter what side of the line they were playing on. But those weren’t “sexy” picks, and look where that got us. And Knumbskull.

  51. nighthawk2 says:

    I do not think that Jason Smith, Crabtree, Tyson Jackson, Eugene Monroe, Sanchez or even DHB are bust-worthy. Smith should have been considered a RIGHT tackle all along, the Rams took him too high but he’s a good tackle. Crabtree has been bothered by the same injury he had in college, which is why I didn’t want us to take him (not at 4, certainly; foot injuries for receivers are as red a flag as one can get in my view); he’s just never on the field, not a bad football player. Tyson Jackson is a DE in a 3-4 scheme, a very un-glamorous position that like NT does the dirty work taking up offensive linemen so the LBs can make the plays; just because he doesn’t get ink like a Julius Peppers doesn’t mean he’s not playing well. Sanchez was/is stuck in an uneviable position: the NY media, playing QB on a team with a defensive head coach who wants nothing more out of a QB than to be a game manager and doesn’t put the weapons around him to win games when the ground and pound isn’t getting it done (and with Shonn Greene and a fading LT, it’s not getting done), a suspect OL outside of Mangold and Ferguson, and crapola for receivers outside of TE Dustin Keller. Monroe is in obscurity in Jacksonville, but he’s a good right tackle. Even Darrius Heyward-Bey is coming around and starting to show he can be a football player instead of just an “athlete”. Curry never will.

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